03/28/08 — Bulldogs use long ball to topple Dixon

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Bulldogs use long ball to topple Dixon

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 28, 2008 2:36 PM

PRINCETON -- Strong winds turned Bulldog Field into a launching pad on day one of the 2008 Deacon Jones Classic.

Princeton definitely benefited from the conditions. Ryan and Dillon Daughtry combined for three home runs as the reigning Class 1-A state champions turned back Holly Ridge Dixon, 5-4.

The Bulldogs (4-5 overall) face archrival Rosewood in today's championship game at 7 p.m. Dixon, of the Coastal Plains 1-A Conference, faces Spring Creek at 4 p.m.

J.J. Schoonover put Dixon ahead on the game's third pitch when he smacked a home run. Princeton knotted the contest at 1-1 on Dillon Daughtry's second-inning, RBI double which scored Benton Myers.

Daughtry finished the day 3-for-3.

Dixon answered with Chris Huie's two-run homer and it appeared Princeton might be headed to the consolation game.

"I was really impressed with how they handled themselves in the batter's box," Princeton coach Bruce Proctor said. "We are glad to have Dixon in our tournament because they are a good team, and specifically, a well-coached team."

Daughtry took over in the fourth.

After brother Ryan mashed a lead-off homer, Dillon ripped a tape-measure shot to put Princeton in front 4-3. Dixon tied the game in the sixth, but Daughtry hit a wind-aided, two-run homer that eventually counted for just one run.

The over-zealous Daughtry passed a teammate, who tagged up at first to see if the ball would be caught. Daughtry was automatically out, while the runner from first scored for the 5-4 final.

"Dillon did a good job at the plate. He got some balls up, and was able to get them out of here," Proctor said. "In the short time that we have been back to practice, we've been working on being aggressive at the plate and on the bases.

"As long as our mistakes are aggressive mistakes I can live with that."

Myers scored three runs for Princeton. Teammates Patrick Jacobs and Michael Radford each reached base on multiple occasions.

Ryan Daughtry pitched the final two innings and earned the win in relief of starter Chris Hinton.

"Tomorrow we want to go out and work on Princeton baseball, no matter who we play," Proctor said. "We worry about Rosewood and Spring Creek in conference play, so right now we want to go out and continue to get better, play our best and hopefully get a win."